Bioethics as politics -- Bioethics and the politics of expectations -- Engendering consent : bioethics and biobanks -- Missing the big picture : bioethics and stem cell research -- Testing times : bioethics and "do-it-yourself" genetics -- Governing uncertainty : the politics of nanoethics -- Beyond bioethics.
In a recent article Brian Leiter concluded that a useful normative theory of adjudication is impossible. A normative theory of adjudication would be a theory that, among other things, identified the moral and political norms that judges ought to follow in determining the law for any particular legal dispute. Letter's elegant and subtle argument, stripped to its bones, runs as follows: Philosophers of law regard a correct normative theory of adjudication as being dependent upon an antecedent descriptive theory. The dependence (...) here, as Leiter describes it, is of a very strong sort and unique among philosophical theories: Any normative theory, to be acceptable, cannot depart from the actual practice of judges and lawyers. Consequently, the content of the normative side of the theory is simply to “continue to do what you've been doing,” supplemented, perhaps, by Holme's injunction to do it more selfconsciously and explicitly. (shrink)
In 'Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature' Richard Rorty presented his provocation and influential vision of the post-philosophical culture, calling upon professional philosophers to accept that epistemology is dead, that the analytic method is a myth, and that philosophy and science are merely forms of literature.
Richard Rorty is notorious for contending that the traditional, foundation-building and truth-seeking ambitions of systematic philosophy should be set aside in favour of a more pragmatic, conversational, hermeneutically guided project. This challenge has not only struck at the heart of philosophy but has ricocheted across other disciplines, both contesting their received self-images and opening up new avenues of inquiry in the process. Alan Malachowski provides an authoritative overview of Rorty's considerable body of work and a general assessment of his (...) impact both within philosophy and in the humanities more broadly. He begins by explaining the genesis of Rorty's central ideas, tracking their development from suggestions in his early papers through their crystallization in his groundbreaking book, "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature". Malachowski evaluates some of the common criticisms of Rorty's position and his ensuing pragmatism. The book examines the subsequent evolution of his ideas, focusing particularly on the main themes of his second major work, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. The political and cultural impact of Rorty's writings on such diverse fields as feminism, cultural and literary theory, and international relations are also considered, and the author explores why Rorty's work has generally found its warmest reception in these areas rather than among mainstream philosophers. (shrink)
Darwin's mockingbird -- Do species change? -- Does evolution make big changes? -- Design -- Peaks and valleys -- Islands in the 21st century -- Has there been enough time? -- Did humans evolve? -- Are we still evolving? -- Conclusions.
Critiques John Martin Fischer's bootstrapping model of divine foreknowledge. Invited contribution to a special journal issue on John Martin Fischer's _Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will_ (Oxford, 2016).
The truthmaker objection to presentism (the view that only what exists now exists simpliciter) is that it lacks sufficient metaphysical resources to ground truths about the past. In this paper I identify five constraints that an adequate presentist response must satisfy. In light of these constraints, I examine and reject responses by Bigelow, Keller, Crisp, and Bourne. Consideration of how these responses fail, however, points toward a proposal that works; one that posits God’s memories as truthmakers for truths about the (...) past. I conclude that presentists have, in the truthmaker objection, considerable incentive to endorse theism. (shrink)
This essay examines and compares two paradigms of technology, nature, and social life, and their associated environmental impacts. I explore moving from technocratic paradigms to the emerging ecological paradigms of planetary person ecosophies. The dominant technocratic philosophy's guiding policy and technological power is mechanistic. It conceptualizes nature as a resource to be controlled for human ends. Its global practices are drastically altering the integrity of the planet's ecosystems. In contrast, the organic, planetary person approaches respect the intrinsic values of all (...) beings. Deep ecology movement principles give priority to community and ecosystem integrity. These deep ecology movement principles guide the design and applications of technology by principles following from ecological understanding. I describe this shift in philosophical paradigms and how it affects our perceptions, values, and actions. (shrink)